A spin on an old favorite, tried and true health powerhouse, water. It's so simple, "drink more water" but why don't we? The excuses or reasons are countless, but so is the myriad of health benefits! Adding a squeeze of lemon to your water may not only be just what you need to get your daily water intake up, but these 7 Stunning Benefits most definitely enhance it...
1. Skin, Joint Tissue & Immunity
All things Vitamin C. A single lemon contains around 30-40 mg of Vitamin C. We all know Vitamin C has immense health benefits, from protecting against prenatal problems to cardiovascular disease, eye diseases, skin wrinkles, and immune system deficiencies. So lemon water does just that, supports ligaments, tendons and connective tissue as well as helping maintain healthy, moisturized skin, and reduce blemishes with detoxifying blood. The antioxidant Vitamin C helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals (aka diseases).
2. Detox and Cleanse
These words are thrown around incorrectly a lot these days, but let me be clear there is evidence of lemon water actually showing detoxification and cleansing properties. The amount of urine is increased when drinking lemon water, as well as bringing with it the primary compound known as Citrate, a naturally-occurring inhibitor of toxins. Lemon water enhances your body’s ability to naturally flush out toxins. Drinking enhances your bodies enzyme function and liver stimulation, filtering those toxins and unwanted junk. Chances are you don't need to start a crazy "cleanse" or "detox" diet, just start drinking more water with lemon squeezed into it.
3. Improve Digestion
Citrus flavonoids are the primary cause of improved digestion when drinking lemon water. They aid in the assimilation of food, help prevent fatty liver, decrease chances of cardiovascular disease, lower body fat, and reduce insulin sensitivity. These Citrus flavonoids act as a great digestive tonic. They have been shown to calm an upset stomach or mild indigestion. This has to do with the hydrochloric acid in your stomach that starts the process of breaking down your food. It is believed the citrus flavonoids in lemon water support the hydrochloric acid in the stomach in breaking down food. Feeding your body the right things over time builds your bodies ability to process foods better, much like building a muscle. At a molecular level, lemon is similar to your saliva that encourages the liver to produce bile – a fluid needed by our intestines to dispose waste and toxins, those improving digestion.
4. Balance pH
Have you heard of "high acid" or acidity in the body? It's also called alkalinity, or your pH balance, the process of neutralizing an acidic (harmful) environment in the body. The body needs certain acids, but at high levels of build up they become damaging, bringing effects such as acid reflux, upset stomach, acidosis and more. Most people are in that far too acidic range. Eating Tums doesn't solve the problem, understand what pH balance is more. Lemon water is a safe and effective way to manage your pH levels and achieving healthy alkalinity may benefit in bone health, reduced muscle wasting, decrease chances of hypertension and strokes, improved cardiovascular health, and improved memory.
5. Weight loss
I preach the importance of water all the time, but it is surprisingly still a little known fact that drinking 8 glasses of water (8 ounces per glass) each day actually boosts your metabolism and how much your body burns calories by 30%! The research is astounding. Lemon adds some flavor to water which will help you drink more plus it has pectin which suppresses appetite. Pectin (fiber) and polyphenols are the main substances found in lemons that have more research available showing weight loss qualities. Pectin satiates you, and that helps reduce excess calorie intake.
6. Decrease LDL "bad" cholesterol
In a human study published in a 2007 edition of “Alternative Therapies,” men and women with high blood cholesterol were given flavonoids and vitamin E daily for four weeks and their total cholesterol levels were reduced between 20 and 30 percent. The researchers theorized that limonin reduces the production of apolipoprotein B, a substance in the liver associated with higher cholesterol levels. Along with the pectin (fiber) found in lemons and Vitamin C, LDL has been shown to drop due to these.
7. Caffeine Substitute
Lemon is a natural energy booster, even more so if you add honey to it (which I don't unless it's after a workout). I've had numerous clients replace all their caffeine with lemon water and the results are phenomenal. I challenge you to replace your morning coffee with lemon water for at least two weeks. Keep a journal of your mood, energy and cravings for the two weeks to see what positive benefits you experience.
So, to recap...
- Boosts immune system, joint tissue and skin health
- Flushes unwanted materials
- Improves digestion
- Balances pH levels
- Excellent for weight loss
- Decreases LDL "bad" cholesterol
- Natural Energy booster, caffeine substitute
Resources: http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/can-lemon-juice-reduce-cholesterol-9266.html http://www.vitalitylink.com/article-holistic-health-2055-lemon-juice-acidic-alkaline-body-water http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/11-benefits-lemon-water-you-didnt-know-about.html http://www.juicingwithg.com/benefits-of-drinking-lemon-water/ http://www.elephantjournal.com/2014/12/the-2-week-lemon-water-challenge/